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Employer not liable for employee’s back injury after being dropped by visitor at Xmas party

Makbool Javaid

In Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK, members of staff from one department organised CRUK’s Christmas party. The department manager carried out a risk assessment to cover as many eventualities as possible regarding potential hazards and how to mitigate them. Mr Beilik (B) attended the party. He was a visiting scientist, not employed by CRUK. B had been drinking from the start of the party. At 10.30pm, B went up to S who was on the dance floor and attempted to lift her off the ground, but he lost his balance and dropped her, resulting in her sustaining a serious back injury. The High Court agreed with the County Court that CRUK was not vicariously liable for B’s actions resulting in the injury. B’s presence at the party and his act of lifting S had nothing to do with the work which he undertook for CRUK. Therefore, as B’s field of activities at CRUK were not sufficiently connected with what happened at the party, CRUK was not vicariously liable for the £300,000 damages S was claiming.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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